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Monday, September 20, 2021

Humor: TA’s tiny office doubles as portal to Narnia

ANH-TRAM BUI / AGGIE

Mr. Tumnus turns out to be a philosophy TA

Ever walk inside your TA’s office and get immediately washed over with a feeling of pity and disgust?

You see a dirty little room with three or four sweaty students stuffed together behind their wobbly desks. Immediately upon entry, your nostrils are hit with a wave of BO and take-out food. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for them, crammed into their tiny office for years, endlessly grading papers and doing the mindless grunt work of tenured professors.

Luckily one special TA, Julius Longbottom, had a nice surprise waiting for him when he arrived at UC Davis this year as a doctoral candidate.

“I had no idea what to expect, really,” Longbottom said. “I was the new guy, so my department put me in the tiniest little closet of an office in the most remote part of the Social Sciences and Humanities building. At first, I was upset. The office literally doubled as a closet for the English department. Having to do work between smelly clothes was annoying. But then, after a few months of practically living in a closet, I made a very special discovery.”

Julius had found an actual portal to Narnia. Yes, the magical land full of talking lions and beavers. That Narnia.

“It was pretty cool,” Julius said. “I was like ‘woah, that’s Narnia.’ I also had just taken a tab of acid while grading some philosophy papers, so the whole experience was pretty surreal.”

Julius, upon discovering Narnia in his office, spent a lot of time there.

“Yeah, I had walked in and then this crazy dude with goat legs was like, ‘What’s up dude?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, man.’ Then this talking lion was like, ‘Hey bro I need you to be the king of Narnia for a bit — do you have time?’ And I said sure because I wasn’t doing much else besides grading some papers. So one thing led to another and I became the king of Narnia. Then I got married to a wonderful woman, had some lovely kids, made some lifelong memories with some really cool friends and even waged war with an evil ice queen. Well anyways, my wife died, and then the talking lion was like, ‘Okay bro time to go.’ So then I walked out the way I came. Once I got back into my office, I was young again. Crazy.”

Julius had lived a long, fulfilling life in Narnia.

“Yeah, I miss my kids now and stuff, but it was a good run. It was kind of a letdown to go from being the admired king of a land full of talking animals to just another TA stuffed into a cramped sweaty office, grading papers until my eyes bleed. But I’m just chilling.”

Julius went back to grading papers. Mr. Tumnus joined him to help.
Written by: Aaron Levins — adlevins@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)

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